Over two decades after a man and his parents were convicted for abetting suicide of his wife, the Bombay high court on Wednesday acquitted the trio observing that there is no evidence of ill-treatment or cruelty against the deceased.
Justice RC Chavan was hearing an appeal filed by Shekhar Pardeshi and his parents Shriram and Shakuntala Pardeshi challenging the five-year sentence handed to them by a sessions court in 1991 for harassment and abetment of suicide of his wife Sangita.
According to prosecution, Sangita, who was married to Shekhar since 1986, had committed suicide by setting herself on fire on August 6, 1990. Soon after her death, Sangita's father lodged a case against Shekhar and his parents alleging that they used to ill-treat her for dowry.
The victim's father alleged that the accused had on several occasions sent Sangita back to her matrimonial house as their dowry demands were not fulfilled.
The accused, however, claimed that Sangita was sent back to her father's house because of her "bad behaviour" towards her in-laws and husband. The accused relied on letters exchanged between them and the victim's father stating Sangita can come back once she changes her behaviour.
Justice RC Chavan after perusing the evidence held that there was no evidence to prove the prosecution case.
"There is nothing to show that there was any physical or mental harassment of such magnitude that could have inflicted upon the victim grievous physical or mental hurt," Justice Chavan said acquitting the trio.